Well, guys, stick a fork in your team this season, because they’re done. Taman outright admitted that because of lack of cash, they couldn’t target big free agents in the off-season and had to settle for what he called “middle-tier” talent. Translation: subpar players cut by other teams. Duane Ford challenged Taman on this ludicrous strategy, asking him why he thought he could rebuild the Bombers with castoffs from teams that didn’t even make the playoffs last year. Taman’s answer? That they have to mix said ‘middle-tier’ players with existing talent. Translation: throw journeymen hacks together with aging veterans and somehow hope you have a competitive team. Utterly absurd.
I’m conflicted about the situation. Part of me wants the league to implement a salary cap and revenue sharing, so that the haves (Edmonton, Toronto, B.C., Montreal) don’t continue to dominate the have-nots (Winnipeg, Ottawa). But then you look at a team like Saskatchewan, which is also community-owned if I’m not mistaken but which is able to field great teams year after year. Or a team like Hamilton, which is 0-2 this year despite the backing of billionaire Bob Young. And so you can’t just chalk up Winnipeg’s woes to an unequal playing field; you have to place a good chunk of the blame on Brendan Taman’s shoulders. He didn’t resign Arland Bruce when he was cut from the NFL. He did not make recruiting talented receivers a priority, and the result is that all opposing defences have to do to stop Winnipeg is double-cover Stegall and pressure the QB. And he built a secondary around personnel from last year’s 4-14 Calgary Stampeders.
So my conclusion is that Taman must go. Even if the league gets a salary cap, I simply don’t think he’s a savvy enough GM to build a championship team in Winnipeg.